- This article is about the robot. For the cybernetically-enhanced version of Ridley, see Meta Ridley.
Mecha Ridley is an incomplete robot built by Ridley as a powerful weapon in his own likeness. The robot is said to be missing its walking and flying units, thus it has large cables coming out of its torso which are seemingly connected to an unseen interface for power and/or computer control.
It first appeared in the cutscene which plays when Samus infiltrates the Space Pirate Mother Ship for the first time; the scene consists of one of Mecha Ridley's eyes opening, signifying that it either activated or detected Samus entering the complex.
After Samus explores the majority of the Chozodia temple and the Space Pirate Mother Ship, she eventually reaches a large, dark chamber located several rooms behind the vessel's control bridge. This is where the mechanical construct, Mecha Ridley, is maintained. As the door locks behind her, loud, screeching, mechanized noises start to resonate in the room as the Mecha Ridley uses its arms to crawl towards Samus's location, with its green neon lights glowing in the darkness. Eventually, the chamber lights up and the battle begins.
Samus must first fire Missiles or Super Missiles at a small, glass-encased panel on his chest covering a weak point resembling Meta Ridley's. Once broken, direct damage can be dealt to the Robot. Only concussive weapons will harm it; Beam weapons have no effect. Because Missiles are limited, the only way to regain them is by shooting down Ridley's own projectile missiles.
Throughout the battle, Mecha Ridley will attack with a claw swipe using its right arm. At the beginning of the battle, it may also attack by launching large fireballs from its mouth in a brief barrage. Once the glass panel is broken, it stops projecting fire and will instead launch homing missiles from its backpack-like apparatus and shoot laser beams out of its eyes.
Mecha Ridley deliberately lowers its head and lifts its right claw in an attempt to block her attacks with its neck joint. However, when it attacks, it moves out of this defensive position, exposing its vulnerable chest. In particular, whenever it performs its swipe attack, its claw lingers on the floor for several seconds, giving Samus ample time to counterattack.
If Samus enters the fight with 100% of all items acquired, Mecha Ridley's offensive power will be doubled and total health tripled, making for a longer and more difficult battle than normal.
Once defeated, Mecha Ridley will shut down and cause the Mother Ship's self-destruct countdown to begin, leaving Samus with 5 or 3 minutes (depending on the difficulty level) to escape the ship, with his eyes blinking in an alarm sequence.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, one of Ridley's alternate costumes is Meta Ridley colored silver with neon green wings and red markings on his feet, referencing the design of Mecha Ridley. Until November 2018, public demos of the game featured a placeholder costume of Ridley with a silver and green color scheme, but no Meta enhancements.
Additionally, Mecha Ridley itself is an unlockable Primary Spirit, first revealed on the game's website. It belongs to the Advanced class, is a Shield type, and has three slots for Support Spirits. However, when equipped by a fighter, it has the handicap of starting the fighter at 30% damage, possibly due to the unfinished state of the robot.
Mecha Ridley can be unlocked through the Spirit Board. Fittingly, its Puppet Fighter is a Giant Ridley using his aforementioned silver Meta Ridley costume. It is fought on Norfair's Omega Form, with Vs. Meta Ridley as the background music. This match is a stamina battle, so the goal is to deal 140 points of damage to Ridley instead of knocking him off the stage. Ridley has increased attack power but his movement speed is reduced, likely referencing Mecha Ridley's slow, lumbering movements in Zero Mission.
Along with the Diggernaut, Mecha Ridley appeared more frequently on the Spirit Board during the Hard 'n' Heavy Metal event. During this event, defeating Mecha Ridley in Spirit Battles would reward extra gold.
In the conversation with Ridley during Palutena's Guidance, Viridi mentions that Ridley built Mecha Ridley, and Pit asks "Is that canon?" This is likely a nod to this information only existing in supplemental materials for a remake. Alternatively, Pit may be questioning Viridi's claim that Mecha Ridley proves that Ridley is "officially [...] a narcissist".
Yoshio Sakamoto: "Ridley made an image of himself to demonstrate his power by making that image as a powerful weapon. Incidentally, it is currently incomplete, and is currently at the halfway stage, becoming more massive once the walking unit and flying unit is installed."
"There's also a robot version of Ridley. He built it himself, which officially makes him a narcissist." - Viridi
- It is quite possible that the Robot was a prototype, serving as a testbed for the technology later implemented on Ridley's body to create Meta Ridley. This is supported by their shared weakness and overall mechanical aspects. This theory is further supported by the fact that Zero Mission is, chronologically, a direct prequel to the events of Metroid Prime, in which Meta Ridley is featured.
- Cyborg Zebesians bear a slight resemblence to Mecha Ridley, possibly indicating the former was also inspired by the latter.
- The Space Pirate Mother Ship's alarm is active throughout the entire battle against Mecha Ridley. It stops as soon as the robot is defeated.
- The glass panel covering its weak point seems to be made out of the same transparent material as Mother Brain's Control Capsule, as both can only be shattered by concussive weapons.
- Concept art from the Prime trilogy shows a massive mechanized Ridley with wings and an apparent pilot, though it remains unknown whether or not this was intended to be related to this robot.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the first time that the name "Mecha Ridley", a popular romanized form of its Japanese name, has appeared in official English media. Prior to this, it was only officially known as the Ridley Robot.